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Laura Hurley

Outlander Star Breaks Down Why Their Character's Death Had To Be Filmed A Very Specific Way

Young Ian and Claire in Outlander Season 7

Spoilers are ahead for the third episode of Outlander Season 7, called “Death Be Not Proud.”

Outlander is only three episodes into the super-sized seventh season in the 2023 TV season, but the Frasers have already experienced significant loss between Bree and Roger returning to their own time and the Big House finally burning down. Then, in “Death Be Not Proud,” death came to the Ridge when Young Ian shot and killed Mrs. Bug, believing her to be Mr. Bug returning to the ashes of the house to retrieve the stolen Jacobite gold. Sarah Collier, who played Murdina Bug, spoke with CinemaBlend about filming her death scene in Season 7.

Mrs. Bug’s demise happened after Jamie had banished her and her husband from the Ridge following the discovery that they’d been hiding the Jacobite gold stolen from Jocasta at River Run. Dressed like her husband, she returned at night to try and get the gold from the embers of the Big House, only to make the fatal mistake of taking a shot at Jamie, leading Young Ian to loose an arrow. 

When Sarah Collier and co-star Hugh Ross spoke with CinemaBlend, she revealed that she was genuinely choking while filming her character’s death, and opened up about what a filming schedule can mean for an actor even when they’re on the verge of being killed off:

Of course, part of the business of filming is that things are not necessarily done in sequence. In fact, a lot of this is done in sequence but there are moments... In the end, because the house burnt down, there was filming that had to then happen at different times. The filming schedule was affected by various things, so that's par for the course in film. You may do your death scene first. That was not unknown.

Mrs. Bug had some key moments in Season 7 prior to her death, notably including when she caught Young Ian and Claire burying Allan Christie’s body (who was also killed by Young Ian after the reveal that he was the one who murdered his sister) and then helped them do it. 

So, did Sarah Collier film that or any other scenes after already acting out Mrs. Bug’s death? I asked the actress that very question, and she shared the very specific reason why the death scene had to be scheduled when it was:

As it happened, the death scene was very much at the end because it had to be, because it happened in the embers of the house. Obviously they had to film all the scenes while the house was there before they could film the scene where the house had burned down because it really was burned down. So that meant that for me, it really did happen at the end.

There was a particular window of time when Outlander could film in the ashes of the Big House, which meant Sarah Collier getting to film her death scene at the very end of her time as Murdina Bug. While that was presumably her final scene on the show, Mrs. Bug's story isn’t entirely finished… if Mr. Bug has any say in the matter, anyway! 

When a remorseful Young Ian offered his life to Mr. Bug in exchange for killing his wife, the widower instead told him that he would see him again once he had something worth taking. So, on top of the brewing American Revolution, Ian is now facing the complication of Arch Bug vowing revenge on him for Murdina's death. 

While Young Ian could surely take the older man in an open fight, it seems safe to say that Arch would use any means necessary to get his vengeance. Honestly, it’s too bad that none of Jamie’s visions – or “glimpses” of the future, as executive producer Maril Davis described them – had tipped them off about this tragedy! The promo for the next episode suggests that war is the bigger concern next, however:

Keep tuning in to Starz on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of Outlander Season 7, or stream the episodes via the Starz app on Fridays at midnight E.T. The season will be comprised of sixteen episodes, although split into two halves, with the back eight releasing at some point in 2024.

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